Phonak's Audeo p70-r and Apple Watch 7 GPS+cellular/LTE

Good day,

This is my very first post, so please forgive me if I am inadvertently doing something wrong or am asking a question that has already been answered (but I have not been able to find that answer just yet).

A question regarding Phonak Audeo p70-r (not) working with Apple Watch series 7 GPS+cellular/LTE: although the hearing aids connect with the watch, the phone call audio is NOT routed through the hearing aids - it goes to the built-in speaker instead. Manually forcing the routing works only for a few seconds. However, listening to Podcasts does not have the same issue - the audio starts and stays in the hearing aids. Also, “El Cheapo” branded ear buds (i.e. regular, $30 pair of bluetooth headphones) work perfectly with this watch - both for calls and for podcasts/audio.

Has anyone else experienced this and found a solution?

BTW: Phonak’s support has done a spectacular job suggesting I have no clue how to pair the two devices, but they have yet to acknowledge that they tested and reproduced the issue.

Thank you for your help!

I guess I wonder what else the HAs are paired with and what are connected at the moment you try to use with the watch. My phone and iPad grab the HAs every chance they get. If the HAs connect to two other devices, no room for watch.


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Thank you for taking the time to comment.

Although the hearing aids can connect to two devices at once, I did test the way you suggest: unpaired from the phone, even powered down the phone and any other Bluetooth enabled devices (even though the hearing aids are not paired with any of them) - still the same result…

These things are often glitchy. Often notifications are an issue. Is Phonak supposed to get back to you?
If it’s important, consider returning the aids. It might just be a glitch with your aids. You may never get a solid answer.

That, indeed, is Apple’s opinion, too: they said they had yet to come across a hearing aid working properly with the watch.

My irritation here stems from Phonak claiming on their website that the HAs work with the Apple Watch that I bought. And, to answer your question, no answer from Phona yet.

Which notifications are you referring to? Perhaps there is a setting I have to look up.

Not sure I can blame the HAs: they work with the phone (and they worked with an Android phone before) and they connect flawlessly with the watch for things like Podcasts/music. It is just phone calls that do not get routed to the HAs.

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From what I remember, Apple Watch does use bluetooth when near your iPhone. It may use WiFi in other circumstances, but I’m starting to wonder if another user on this forum can attempt to replicate the issue you’re having by testing this out.

I’m wondering if the Apple Watch can allow more than one bluetooth connection, but can only stream audio with the singular connection… I don’t see how this would be an issue as the singular streams would have been an issue on older versions of the apple watch or devices with older versions of bluetooth though.

Again, I know nothing about Apple Watches, but with phones, getting a notification will often interrupt streaming. I’m assuming there is a way to turn off notifications on watches. Looking at Phonak’s compatibility tool, there is a way to submit if the watch works for you. I’m assuming Phonak has some data on that. Might be worth asking if they could look up what kind of responses they’ve gotten. Phonak does have a disclaimer at the bottom of their tool that suggest one try out a device before purchasing. That has always been my advice regarding device (typically phone) compatibility with hearing aids. I wonder if how your cheap earbuds pull it off has something to do the bluetooth version they support?

I realise this doesn’t help you but my friend has started using a SIM card Apple Watch with his Oticon Engage (rebranded Opn 2) as he wanted hands free option.

His Aids are Made For iPhone Aids and not Classic Bluetooth. I wonder if there’s a difference in why the Watch won’t connect to Phonak?

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Thank you - definitely worth posting my feedback there, I overlooked that option.

And, indeed, one has to wonder: $1000’s worth of technology cannot achieve was a pair of $20 earbuds could…

It woud be beyond awesome if someone could try this on their watch - I am sure I am not the only one on this forum who is trying to use this combo.

As for multiple BT connections via the watch - I gather these work: when I switched from the HAs to a no-name/super-cheap ear buds - everything worked flawlessly, the call audio was clear and routed immediately to the cheap ear buds.

The closest that Phonak’s support got to finding something at all was the suggestion to go to the Phonak App and switch from “variable/dynamic bandwidth” call quality to “fixed bandwidth”. That routed the audio from the watch to the HAs, but the audio quality was so poor/choppy that a conversation was not possible.

So, yeah - the mystery deepens… {sigh}

Indeed, this is exactly why I went with the Apple Watch LTE/cellular: hands-free, plus fall detection with the option for automatic 911 call, so I fully understand your friend’s choice.

Re: “made for iphone” HAs - I did speak with Apple’s accessibility team and they explained the difference. They confirmed that Phonak’s HAs are treated the same way as a “regular” Bluetooth device. This should still NOT be a problem - especially since I AM able to connect cheap ear buds with the Apple Watch and achieve what I cannot achieve with the mega-expensive HAs: phone call audio routed via Bluetooth…

It will be interesting to see if Phonak ever gets back to me…

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I’ve grown jaded over the years. To me the mystery is when things work perfectly. I’ve grown to expect glitches.